This blog post was published on February 28 2010. §
Post-election conflict scenario
Expectations indicate that the Iraqi general elections, scheduled for the next month (07-March-2010), will be a decisive turning point, most likely will take the Iraqi political process to a new stage.
New Iraq-Iraqi disputes will start to emerge, timed with the emergence of a very dangerous political vacuum (legislative-executive-presidential).
The activation of the political vacuum in Iraq:
- The Iraqi-Iraqi disputes: Will take place between the parties involved in the political process, based on the future coalition government. Technically, the disagreements will appear to be Iraqi-Iraqi, but behind the scene, the disputes will be linked to the U.S. and Iran influences (one Iraqi politician said: The Iraqi sky for the U.S. and Iraqi ground for Iran).
- Institutional weakness: Iraqi political institutions are vulnerable and fragile to the pressures of any political crises, because these institutions are still emerging, secondly, because it has a great potential for infiltration by external powers, particularly the U.S. occupation authorities, Iran and other regional powers.
The weakness of Iraqi political process in the post-election period, will effect the political decision-making, which will directly lead to the rise of Iraqi-Iraqi, Iraqi-American violence, which may in its turn lead to more serious consequences on the future of Iraq.
Institutional structure of the coming Iraqi-Iraqi conflict:
- At the top of the pyramid — the Government:
i– The presidential authority of Iraq, represented by the Iraqi president, his deputies and aides.
ii– The executive authority represented by the Prime minister and members of the Iraqi cabinet.
This is were the conflict will be started, mostly about how to distribute resources and seizing authority between the Iraqi political blocs active in the political process. Each political bloc/party/coalition will seek to offer further concessions to the U.S. and Iran to obtain Washington/Tehran support and backing to get a larger share.
- At the base of the pyramid: the 18 provinces:
i– Three provinces (Sulaymaniyah — Erbil — Dohuk) are under the direct supervision of the Kurdistan Regional Government authority. The provinces are relatively controlled by the American forces.
The conflict will revolve more on local security files and in particular in the provinces with harmonious population (mostly Shiite, Sunnis or Kurds), but for the mixed provinces, it will take a different form, most likely an ethnic-sectarian violence.
There will be a correlation and mutual influence between the different levels of the Iraqi conflict — the Iraqi conflict at the top of the pyramid will effect the conflict at the base of the pyramid.
The consequences of the Iraqi power vacuum:
A higher rates of displacement of the population, inside and outside Iraq, in addition to allow a new opportunities for the hawks in the U.S. administration hawks, particularly Senator Biden, and the Republican Senator John McCain — Senator Joe Lieberman, in terms of to claim the Obama’s administration needs to postpone the withdrawal. The Israeli lobby to exploit the effects of the coming Iraqi crisis coming, in terms of building arguments campaign against Syria and Iran, through the accusations that Damascus and Tehran support the chaos and instability in Iraq.